A new Smithsonian Channel documentary shows the excitement that the first human moon landing mission 50 years ago generated amid the public and shares the stories of the major players who participated in the feat.
Apollo 11's historic journey is showcased in "The Day We Walked On The Moon," which airs tomorrow (July 7) at 9 p.m. EDT (same time in PDT).
"This one-hour documentary unfolds with a minute-by-minute description of those 24 hours when humanity first stepped on to the moon — told by the people who witnessed it," Smithsonian Channel said in a statement. "Astronauts, members of Mission Control and the children of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin reveal their personal stories behind the scenes of the iconic day."
The documentary includes remastered footage of the mission, as well as interviews with key players in Mission Control, the spacecraft and in the homes of astronaut families, Smithsonian said in a separate statement on its website. "Over the next few days, the world watched on with wonder and rapture as humankind prepared for its 'one giant leap' onto the moon — and into history," it added.
Other interviewees in the documentary were not direct participants in the Apollo program, but cite the moon landing as a key influence on their careers. These people include Brian May (astrophysicist and lead guitarist of Queen) and Brian Cox, a science popularizer and particle physicist at the University of Manchester.
In addition to the television broadcast, the film will be screened at 67 Smithsonian Institute-affiliated museums across the country on July 20, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, studio Finestripe Productions added on their website.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace